Virginia City Sewer Project

DOWL began working on preliminary studies, engineering reports, and designs for this project in 2009. The design and environmental assessment were completed in 2012 and submitted to Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for approval. We approached multiple funding agencies to finance the construction of Phase 1 and were able to secure a USDA funding package that met the County’s needs.

Our scope of work included the design of a 200,000 gallons per day (gpd) wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), more than 12 miles of sewer main, 1.25 miles of sewer laterals, and 300 sewer manholes. The project was strategically phased to provide continuing service during construction of the new infrastructure. DOWL also worked with the County and Bureau of Land Management to obtain easements for all city streets.

Given the historic and cultural environment in the area, it was important to reduce disturbance, which was accomplished by consolidating sewer mains. A successful design required a blend of engineering judgment, knowledge of construction methods, and environmental awareness. Because of the age of the system, locations of existing utilities were mostly unknown as very few as-builts or original design drawings exist. Through interviews and multiple site investigations, Farr West was able to build a quality map of existing utility infrastructure and developed a complete GIS database of all utility assets.

After securing funding, Storey County decided to move forward with replacing the 1970s wastewater treatment plant with a larger, more efficient one. A huge benefit of this project was the elimination of the threat of pollution to the Six Mile Canyon watershed.

Following the successful completion of the WWTP project, DOWL assisted the County in the acquisition of more than $13 million in project funds for the replacement of the entire collection system in Virginia City and Gold Hill. Services provided as part of this project included engineering design, bidding assistance, construction management, resident observation, and archaeological monitoring for more than 15 months.

This project improved the community’s environmental conditions, provided the necessary infrastructure to support current and future economic development, and successfully balanced the preservation of historical landmarks with new technology.


Storey County, Nevada




Storey County





Construction Administration and Inspection

Electrical Design


Water Supply and Wastewater